Glass Etching Tips & Tricks

Happy New Year!  I hope that each of you had a wonderful holiday!!  Ours was awesome — hectic with all of the church and family activities — and 5 precious grand children – -but wonderful!  So thankful!  But, now I am ready to jump into 2019 — and one of my goals this year is to share more regular tutorials on the blog.  So, today’s post will share with you some of the ways you can be successful with glass etching!

One of the very first things that I did when I got my first Silhouette Cameo was glass etching.  I loved it then, and its still one of my favorite things to do.  Its so simple (when you know the tricks) and it gives such impressive results!   Turns an ordinary glass bottle, jar or candle holder into something really special & personalized.

My brother in law has bee hives in Central Florida, and generously shares a large jar of it with us!  Its wonderful, but the large jar can be hard to manage & gets sticky — so my hubby visited a local “Bee store” (who knew there was such a thing?), and got me a few little goodies for my stocking this Christmas.  One of them was a smaller honey jar — which just begged to be etched.

So, before filling this little jar with golden deliciousness, I selected this file from the Silhouette Design Store – Design #254338, and brought it into Silhouette Studio.

Cutting & applying the stencil:

After opening in Studio, I sized it to fit the area I wanted to etch on the jar.  Then, using the Rectangle Drawing Tool, I drew a box around the design, leaving quite a bit of excess room around the design.  This is because you are going to weed away the actual honey jar, leaving the box & the text on the jar.  Leave at least an inch or more around the design, so that you have plenty of “wiggle room”, and the cream does not get on the area that you do not want etched.

I used Oracal 651 adhesive vinyl for my glass etch stencil.   I don’t use Stencil vinyl, because it is designed to remove easily & not have as secure a hold.  For glass etching, you want the vinyl to adhere very tightly on all edges, so that none of the etching cream bleeds under the vinyl.

After cutting the design, remove the honey jar portion of the design, leaving the text & the box around it.  Then, I apply the transfer tape to the front of the design, and carefully remove the backing.

Carefully apply the vinyl to the front of your jar, being sure that all cut edges of the design are secure, without any wrinkles or bubbles.   When applying to a round item, like this jar, you will probably get wrinkles and/or bubbles in the vinyl.  That is ok, as long as it is not on or near the cut edges.

Working with the Etching Cream

There are several brands of etching cream on the market, and I have tried them all.  While they all work (some much better than others), my absolute favorite is EtchAll Cream.

One of the reasons that I like this EtchAll Cream the best, is because it works the best!  If you follow directions carefully, there are no “blotchy” spots on your etch, and you don’t need to move it around while etching.    Simply use a small squeegee to apply a nice, thick layer of etching cream over your design and wait about 15-20 minutes for it to etch.

You will notice that my etching cream is a dark brown.  Cream will darken with age or exposure to heat, from white to caramel to chocolate brown to black. The color of the product does not affect usability or performance; dark etchall is still good etchall!  So do not be concerned if you it looks dark when you open the jar.

The other reason that I like this product is that it is re-useable!  After the allotted time has elapsed, simply use your squee-gee to scrape the excess cream off of the stencil & put it back in your jar.  This makes it such a better value, as no product is wasted

Note:   Etching is permanent. It is not a coating, not a frosting, but irremovably eaten into the glass.

USE CAUTION when using EtchAll on your counter top or sink areas.  Any surface made of glass, marble, slate or porcelain will etch!    Be careful when removing the cream from your stencil, that it does not touch the areas not covered by the stencil.  (You can use painters tape around the edges of your stencil, as an extra pre-caution when applying).

After removing the excess cream, flood your design with plenty of water & wash thoroughly, before removing your stencil.  And always remove the stencil under running water.   The stencil is not re-usable.

After removing the stencil, rinse again & dry.   Your glass is now permanently etched!!

It’s really difficult to get a good picture of glass etching, so I know that this looks like there is some irregularities in the top of the design, but it’s not – -this is just due to the glare of the photo.  You will notice that the etch is nice & smooth, without any blotchy spots.    You can see it better here — with my jar all filled up & ready to go with yummy honey!

Glass Etching is sooo much fun!  And you get such impressive results, with a very simple & quick process!   Try it!!  You can visit the EtchAll Website for more information and project ideas!


cropped-signature1000-2.pngFYI – This post may contain affiliate advertising. This means that if you click a link in the post, I may make a commission based on your purchase. The price you pay for the product or service is not higher, and the commissions I earn allow me to keep sharing tutorials & info with you!



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  1. Too Too Cute!! Thanks for including the SS design#. Great idea Terri.

  2. Kate Greenway says

    Thank you!!!!! 🙂

  3. Terri….Please send more tutorials…Loving everyone that you have sent! You are the best!!

  4. I was very excited to read your tutorial on vinyl stencils because I sometimes use them to apply glaze to my pottery. One question regarding the Oracal 651 vinyl. You said in the glass etching example that the stencil is ‘not reusable’. Is that true for any application or just when using the etching cream? In the case of applying a ceramic glaze, could the stencil be rinsed off with water and reused? Thanks!

    • Monica — I really don’t think that you would be be able to re-use it. Since it is designed as a permanent adhesive vinyl, its pretty tough to remove & gets mangled in the process!